Funny you should ask that question:
A few years ago I was at the Sheriff sale in Delaware County.
I was in the 2nd Row. In the 1st Row was a guy the stood up and bid a dollar on 3 or 4 houses in a row.
The Sheriff explained to the gentleman the " you must bid the upset price" Then the man stood up and complained "then why are you selling them to Attorneys for a dollar?" (chuckles were heard through out the room)
The phrase used at Mortgage foreclosure "sheriff sales" is, "sold to the attorney on the writ" $1. And that only happens when no one bids on the property and the attorney take the property back to the lender who he/she represents.
Even better, I thought I recognized the voice. And yup, it was a former client who was one of my 1st short sales.
His problem was "he didn't know what he didn't know".
I suggest going to a few sales OR finding a Real Estate Agent who is a well seasoned agent AND who will help you "learn the ropes". Caution, though, Asking the attendees for information and or help may only add to your confusion. Always, research thoroughly any advice with a seasoned professional. Remember, if you ask attendees, you are their competition for that "great deal/steal"
If you want more help, 610-504-5466 is my cell. Advice is FREE, if you need more i have an "al" a carte Menu of services that may be of interest to you.